Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he was unaware that the appointed head of the Disinformation Governance Board, Nina Jankowicz, attempted to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy pressed Mayorkas on whether the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) knew that Jankowicz called the laptop reports “Russian disinformation.”
“I was not aware of that,” he said. “We do not discuss the internal hiring process, ultimately as the secretary, I’m responsible for the decisions of the Department of Homeland Security.”
Jankowicz attempted to pose the laptop report as Russian disinformation in an October 2020 tweet stating that Biden cited “50 former natsec officials and 5 former CIA heads that believe the laptop is a Russian influence op.” She also told ABC News in 2020 that the report should be seen as a “Trump campaign product.” (RELATED: ‘I Was Not Aware’: Mayorkas Says He Didn’t Know About Truth Czar’s Viral Videos)
The senator then asked the secretary about Jankowicz’s attempt to verify the Steele dossier, a document written by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, alleging collusion between former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.
“When the department picked Ms. Jankowicz, did it know that she had vouched for the veracity of the Steele dossier?” Kennedy asked.
“I was not aware of that fact,” Mayorkas said. “As the Secretary of Homeland Security, I am responsible for the decisions of the department, and … it is my understanding that Ms. Jankowicz is a subject matter expert in the field in which she will be working on behalf of the department.”
Despite her new role of countering disinformation, Jankowicz peddled a since-debunked report promoted by Hillary Clinton’s campaign that Carter Page, the former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, worked alongside the Kremlin.
Trump’s Kremlin ties don’t end at Manafort. This 👏🏻 is 👏🏻 serious 👏🏻 people 👏🏻 https://t.co/L6t6FpRB86
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) September 24, 2016
The Clinton campaign’s statement said it was “chilling to learn that U.S. intelligence officials are conducting a probe into suspected meetings between Trump’s foreign policy adviser Carter Page and members of Putin’s inner circle while in Moscow.”
She also falsely claimed in 2017 that the Republican Party funded the dossier, claiming bias coming from the FBI and Department of Justice went against Clinton.
Mayorkas assured Fox News’ Bret Baier in a Sunday interview that Jankowicz is a “subject matter expert” and has no concerns regarding her objectivity.
“[Jankowicz is] highly regarded as a subject matter expert, and I don’t question her objectivity,” Mayorkas replied. “There are people in the department who have a diverse range of views, and they’re incredibly dedicated to mission. We’re not the opinion police. She has testified before Congress a number of times. She’s recognized as a tremendous authority, and we’re very fortunate to have her.”